The Importance of Branding for Liberian Artists

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Becoming a professional musician can be a rough ride; once the artist decides to take his or her career from scratch to a monetized status, there are a number of things that need to be put in place in order to become successful.

As in any profession, music is a business, and having a brand is one of the most important business strategies; it puts an artist in a more marketable state than those who have not employed it. A branded image tells your fans the kind of person that you are and what you do.

Astrid Baumgardner, JD, PCC a professional life coach, lawyer, and Lecturer at the Yale School of Music states that: “One of the most important tools for advancing a career in the creative world is the use of a personal brand. Once the domain strictly of commercial enterprises, the principles of branding are now used successfully by individuals who want to clearly communicate why they are the best person to provide a service to the audiences they want to reach,”

A branded Image applies to every activities in the musician career including merchandise, performances, logo, visual website and many more.

The same principles that have made Steinway “the finest pianos in the world and Nike products for athletes who “just do it” can be applied to musicians and artists who want to distinguish themselves from their peers, he added.

A branded Image applies to every activities in the musician career including merchandise, performances, logo, visual website and many more.

Baumgardner also said brand is your vision of who you are andwhat you do for your audiences. It encompasses a message that expresses what makes you unique and memorable and distinguishes you from your competition so that your target audience connects with you emotionally and wants to work with you.

Success will not come overnight; artists need to be involved in monetizing their careers via a persuasive image that is in congruence with their music. Underestimating the power of a branded image leaves you with only “a name”; without branding, it becomes difficult for artist to define his or her career objectives, and makes it quite easy for musicians to play the blame game.

How can a brand improve your professional music career?
While it is true that musicians need to focus on making good music, a total package of activities including merchandising, performances, logos, and a website are very essential tools that should be employed in order for a musician to truly grow musically; From a business perspective, it is all good.

Whether it is a band or a solo musician, a personal brand distinguishes both entities from their peers. Branding is a powerful marketing tool that musicians should utilize to validate their unique gifts and communicate the same to the targeted audience.
A branded image makes it easier for fans to identify with artists; it makes you a more marketable product, and assists in making you an established music personality.

Liberia Hip-Co Artist Jon Brick said, “branding is good, it helps identify you as an artist; not just that, but it puts you at a higher level in terms of prestige and franchise and differentiates you from others.
“It’s the best way for fans and supporters to identify you easily. For me, fans called me Zama, LIB international or BricksCity,” he said. “In order to promote their craft and images, I advise that they see branding as an edge.”

The absence of branding in the careers of many Liberian musicians has made it difficult for them to uncover their uniqueness, and even harder for them to get feedback from fans.

Having a brand can assist in avoiding a feeling of discouragement for not generating the income needed from your work, and can greatly reduce the pressures of competition, since there is something exceptional that the artist can offer.

Branding helps artists to plan their goals in a more effective manner, and aids in directing efforts to the specific audiences that are on board. It helps musicians to advance their careers by working cleverly, not in a stressful way.

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